Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, and a couple of them aren’t your typical white-sand variety. Red, green, and black-sand beaches are some of the unique natural attractions Hawaii has to offer. These have been changed by natural causes such as volcanic eruptions and have become incredible spots to travel to all year round. One or all of these can be the highlight of your next Hawaii vacation! Travel to these to add a bit of color to your life.

Green Sand: Papakolea

Years ago, a volcano erupted and flowed over the land creating the color to the beach as well as the tuff ring that surrounds it; olivine is common in Hawaiian volcanic eruptions. Near the town of Pohakolu, at the southern tip of the big island, sits the green-sand beach. To travel here, you cannot simply drive up to the spot. Rather, you’re recommended to follow a small two-mile trail.

Pohakolu, Hawaii

Papakolea. Photo: Pushkr via Flickr

For those who are inexperienced with travel on rough terrain, do not fret; this trail is simple and short. Since it’s tucked away from traffic, Papakolea is beautifully secluded and surrounded by a ring of eroding rocks that are thousands of years old. Your Hawaii vacation should include this stunner.

Pohakolu, Hawaii

Papakolea. Photo: Pushkr via Flickr

Black Sand: Punalu’u

Located on the southeast shore of the mainland sits a popular beauty home to varied marine life. The sand here has changed to pitch black from past eruptions, still holding lava rocks and lava fragments in its sand. Punalu’u is also home to sea turtles, and will sprinkle stunning color to your Hawaii travel vacation.

Punalu'u Beach, Hawaii

Punalu’u. Photo: HandsLive via Flickr

If you travel to this Hawaii stunner, you must stay 15 feet away from them; human contact can lead to animals getting sick or getting hurt. Come take a picnic while watching sea turtles sunbathe or take a dip in the water and do a little sunbathing of your own! This black sand beauty will amaze you beyond words!

Black sand beach, hawaii

Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons

Black Sand: Pa’iloa

In Hana on Maui’s east edge of the island is the black-sand beach which is connected to the Waianapana State Park near the Haleakala volcano. Though dormant, the volcanoes’ past history is what changed this beach; as hot lava touches cold water, it cools down instantly and shatters into a fine material. Many like to travel here to take scenic walks by the water while visiting a park, especially on the Waianapanapa State Park Trail that makes its way around the gorgeous region. Travel here for your sunny Hawaii vacation!

Hana, Hawaii

Photo: Gaétan via Wikimedia Commons

Waianapana State Park

The people of Hawaii have many legends connected to this land, one pertaining to a runaway princess. The legend goes that she was unhappy with her marriage so she fled. The princess and her maid found a nearby cave where they hid for days until her husband saw their reflection in the water; the name, “Waianapana,” means glistening water.

Waianapana, Hawaii

Waianapana State Park. Photo: bradleypjohnson via Flickr

Besides the black sand beach, there are many sights to see in this park. Take a walk on the many trails such as Kipapa O Kihapiilani Trail and King’s Highway trail that guides you around the park. It gives you the best views of water and land! Take a dip in the legendary springs the princess hid in and explore the lava tubes that are open for exploration.

Hana , Hawaii

Photo: schuss42 via Wikimedia Commons

Red Sand: Kaihalulu

Following the Hana Highway (just under the Pa’iloa beach) is the red sand beach. The red color comes from high iron deposits along with the cinder cone that is slowly eroding. Due to the seclusion of the beach, many travel lovers choose to skip the swimsuits while they tan and enjoy their day. Unlike the green sand beach, the trail to get here is a little trickier.

Maui, Hawaii

Kaihalulu Beach. Photo via MaxPixel

Those who are inexperienced may need a hand while walking to paradise But, the trek is totally worth the sweat to see these stunning, natural colors on your Hawaii vacation. Travel to experience these natural wonders yourself!

Kaihalulu. Photo: Paul Bica via Flickr

Glass Beach

Near Port Allen at the bottom of the island, thousands of pieces of glass congregate onto the shore. The land used to be a dumping ground for the area where cars and old industrial equipment would be dropped off. Today, many visitors travel here to enjoy a walk on the beach, admiring the natural beauty of the sea glass and its stunning scenery.

Kauai, Hawaii

Glass Beach. Photo: Makuahine Pa’i Ki’i via Flickr

Most of the glass is smooth and has a round shape from the ocean’s current smoothing and shaping it before it drifted onto land. This beach is made for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Even though there is no swimming or tanning here, the Glass Beach will expose you to nature at its finest.

Kuai, Hawii

Photo: Makuahine Pa’i Ki’i via Flickr

Enjoy your Hawaii vacation to these flawless beauties!

Also Read:

An Insider’s Guide to Hawaii and Its Hidden Beaches

12 Astonishing Beaches You Won’t Believe Exist

For more colorful vacation ideas, check out our Travel Ideas section